Sapuri: Train workers in the US

National, Normal

PAPUA New Guinea lacks medical specialists including bio-medical engineers which results in many deaths to chronic diseases and the run down of medical equipment used for treatment.
This is one area that the government’s technical advisory committee (TAC) on the Pacific Medical Centre (PMC) is focusing on to improve health care delivery in the country through the training of health workers in America.
Last May, the US state of Connecticut passed legislation to enable Papua New Guinean doctors and nurses working in the public hospitals and health centres to undergo specialised training in the state’s teaching hospitals.
Connecticut has some of America’s leading medical institutions like Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Centre, Yale University Medical Centre, University of Connecticut Health Centre and others.
TAC chairman Dr Mathias Sapuri said for too long local doctors who wanted to enhance their training in Australia had had to sit  three to four examinations before going there to train in specialised areas.
He said it was about time the country grasped the opportunities and sent local doctors and nurses to train in America where everything was happening.
“We will not take the health work force out of the public health sector,” he said when asked if the PMC would affect the public health sector’s work force.
He said the health workforce was small and that the department needed to increase it.
Meanwhile, Sapuri, who is also chairman of the PNG medical board, said there were only 830 registered doctors with only 450 doing clinical work while the others were in private practice or in administration.
“We don’t have enough pathologists in the country.
“Every regional hospital in the country should have a pathologist.”